As we’re pretty sure everyone knows by now, braids are having a major moment. From runway shows to Pinterest and YouTube tutorials, everything from an inverted fishtail to a waterfall braid has been on the mind of the style-savvy as their hairstyle du jour. People in the know don’t even consider braids a trend at this point—they’ve become just as common as a regular ponytail or your go-to gym bun. With the right technique, a braid can upgrade a basic updo in just five minutes.
How to Do a Waterfall Braid Step-By-Step
That said, it’s helpful to not only know our French braids from our Dutch braids but to also know our way around other looks. Keep scrolling to learn how to do a waterfall braid, and check out our #wcw hairstyle of the moment:
Start on clean or freshly washed hair.
Prep hair by washing with a wash and care system that gets rid of dirt while making hair appear fuller, such as Suave Professionals Collagen Shampoo and Conditioner. After washing, spritz strands with a heat protectant, like TRESemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray, before blow-drying. This sets up the stage for a fab, juicy braid. Power-dry with a blow-dryer till hair is at least 90 percent dry.
Create loose curls.
Wrap sections of your hair loosely around a large curling iron barrel (around 1 1/2 to 2″). Start at the mid-length and twirl more tightly towards the ends, curling away from your face.
Begin a waterfall braid on your hairline.
Part your hair as desired (we like a side part for this look) and start your waterfall braid at the fringe area, moving from your part to the opposite ear.
To achieve this, gather three equal pieces of hair from the fringe section of your head. The top piece is closest to your crown, the middle piece is just below that, and the bottom piece is closest to your hairline.
Begin the waterfall braid just like a 3-strand braid. Cross the top piece over the middle piece and then the bottom piece over the middle piece.
Next, cross the top piece over the middle piece again, but add in a new piece of hair just like you would when doing a french braid. For the waterfall effect, cross the bottom piece of hair over the middle and let go of the new bottom piece that is closest to your hairline.
To continue the braid, grab a new bottom piece of hair, just behind the piece you let go. Cross this piece over the middle piece. Then, cross the top piece over the middle piece, adding in hair like you did before. Next, drop the bottom piece and repeat the process until your braid is the desired length.
Secure your ends.
Continue French-braiding till you reach the opposite ear. Switch into a regular three-strand braid past the ear and secure the ends with a hair tie.
Pancake the braid by gently pulling any tight loops for a voluminous boho feel, and then spritz your entire head with hair spray to set the style. We like how Love Beauty and Planet Light Hold & Frizz Control Coconut Milk & White Jasmine Light Hold Hair Spray keeps strands touchable and frizz-free yet in place without flattening out the plaits. You’re all set and ready to turn heads!
Waterfall Braids to Try
1. Waterfall Fringe Braid
Try out a unique version of the waterfall braid. Braid your hair across your forehead, incorporating your fringe into the style.
2. Loose Waterfall Braid
This cute, trendy plait works great with medium to long hair and is especially pretty on highlighted strands. Plus, it’s perfect for upping the ante on your music festival hair game! Bonus: If you’ve got funky, pastel or sea-hued strands, so much the better! Begin your braid where your ombré starts for a true “waterfall” effect. Enjoy!
3. Waterfall Braid on Curly Hair
A waterfall braid looks great on any hair type. Show off your curly locks with a boho-inspired style.
4. Straight-Haired Waterfall Braid
Looking for a new style that works well with straight hair too? The waterfall braid will be your new best friend. Doing this style on straight hair makes the braid stand out even more.
5. Waterfall Half-Updo
It never hurts to try out new variations of a go-to style. For a fancier look, opt for a waterfall half-updo, instead of brushing your hair back into a regular half ponytail.
6. Classic Waterfall Braid
You can go wrong with a classic waterfall braid. This works on any hair type and allows you to add beach waves, curl, and straighten your hair.
7. Waterfall Braid Updo
Getting ready for a formal event? A waterfall updo is a perfect style to wear! Use a hair spray, like Nexxus Weightless Style Ultra Light Hair Spray to lock in your look without worrying about stiff strands.
8. Diagonal Waterfall Braid
A looser diagonal waterfall braid creates more of a soft romantic look. This is perfect for anyone who wants to dress up their look, but not necessarily wear a tight braid.
9. Purple Waterfall Braid
Trying out a vibrant hue? Show off your new color with a waterfall braid! To keep your color looking fresh make sure to use a shampoo and conditioner like TRESemmé Botanique Color Vibrance & Shine Shampoo and Conditioner.
10. Ombré Waterfall Braid
A waterfall braid is a very flattering style to show off your ombré look!
Ready to try out a waterfall braid yourself? Tag @allthingshairus in your looks on Instagram to share!